Sachdev at 7-1 could be the answer to a tricky-looking Cape Guineas at Kenilworth tomorrow when the appearance of Sun Met favourite Hawwaam in the Premier Trophy will be a major attraction.
Richard Fourie’s mount might not have the most obvious credentials – he flopped in the Cape Classic and was beaten in the Concorde Cup – but in fact those two performances hold the key to his chance here. His blood was found to be wrong – indicating an infection – after the Classic, so much so in fact that Justin Snaith had to ease off him and he lined up for the Concorde quite some way off peak fitness.
Yet he produced an explosive turn of foot and was only caught in the last stride by King Of Gems and the Concorde (together with its Selangor predecessor) is a good guide to the Guineas. With a better preparation, it’s not hard to see him turning the tables and even winning.
Snaith also has a strong contender in Captain Tatters who ran Silver Operator to a dwindling four-tenths of a length in the Cape Classic and looked the more likely of the pair to benefit from the extra furlong here. Yet he is a 15-2 chance and Silver Operator is 3-1 favourite, and badly drawn to boot.
Part of the reason is the reputation of his rider Anton Marcus and the five-time winning record of trainer Vaughan Marshall, but there is also the remarks they made in the immediate aftermath of the Classic. Marshall pointed out that it was the colt’s first run for seven weeks while Marcus said he should have sent the horse on sooner and that he will be far more effective on the summer course as well as suited to a bit further.
It’s worth noting that seven of the last ten Cape Guineas favourites have been beaten. That said, the race usually goes to one of the fancied runners and only twice in the last 17 years has the winner started at a bigger price than 5-1.
This year looks more open than usual. King Of Gems accelerated every bit as well as Sachdev in the Concorde and, although he started almost completely ignored at 55-1, there was no fluke about his victory. He has already been backed from 16-1 to 11-1.
His trainer Brett Crawford has his horses in top form and stable companion Macthief (13-1) was a close-up third in the Concorde despite clipping heels in the back straight. Interestingly Kilindini is the shortest priced of the stable’s trio at 10-1 despite being beaten at odds-on last time.
Sean Tarry saddles a quarter of the field (and he normally does all the saddling himself) including last Saturday’s big winner Pure State but Eden Roc is the highest rated and at 10-1 the shortest priced. He hasn’t quite hit top form this season but his trainer certainly has.
Merit ratings gained in Durban at two often don’t stand up elsewhere at three but it’s worth noting that African Warrior’s top-rated 115 was earned in the Matchem at Durbanville. Forget last time’s muscle-strained flop. The 13-2 shot is second favourite.
It’s almost impossible to see Hawwaam getting beaten. At least it would be if nobody told you what a terrible record favourites have in the Premier Trophy – all but two of the last 14 got stuffed. If you don’t fancy risking your money at 2-7 Twist Of Fate was only 1.6 lengths behind Hawwaam in the Daily News, he receives a kilo, is racing on home ground and his new trainer is on fire. You can get 13-2.
By Michael Clower